Journal Article

Boomtown Policing: Responding to the Dark Side of Resource Development

Rick Ruddell

in Policing: A Journal of Policy and Practice

Volume 5, issue 4, pages 328-342
Published in print December 2011 | ISSN: 1752-4512
Published online July 2011 | e-ISSN: 1752-4520 | DOI:
Boomtown Policing: Responding to the Dark Side of Resource Development

Show Summary Details


Rapid economic and population growth resulting from resource development presents a number of challenges for rural police services, including responding to higher levels of disorder and serious crime. The cycles of anticipation, development, plateau—and sometimes bust and recovery—in boomtowns have long been recognized, but seldom have the claims of increased crime and disorder been empirically examined. This study analysed the deployment of the police in the Canadian city of Fort McMurray, Alberta, from 1986 to 2009. During this era rates of crime per law enforcement officer were three times the national average while the ratio of police to city residents was less than the national average for nearly two decades, which is similar to a lag in protective services that has been reported in other jurisdictions experiencing booms. Implications for rural development and policing are discussed.

Journal Article.  7257 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Policing

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